Genotype by Environment Interaction for Milk Production Traits Betweeen Organic and Conventional Dairy Production in The Netherlands

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Abstract

Estimates of genetic parameters for organic dairy farming have not been published previously, and neither is information available on the magnitude of genotype by environment interaction (GxE) between organic and conventional farming. However, organic farming is growing worldwide and basic information about genetic parameters is needed for future breeding strategies for organic dairy farming. The goal of this study was to estimate heritabilities of milk production traits under organic farming conditions and to estimate the magnitude of GxE between organic and conventional dairy farming. For this purpose, production records of first-parity Holstein heifers were used. Heritabilities of milk, fat and protein yield, and somatic cell score (SCS) were higher under organic farming conditions. For percentages of fat and protein, heritabilities of organic and conventional production were very similar. Genetic correlations between preorganic and organic, and organic and conventional milk production were 0.79 and 0.80, respectively. For fat yield, these correlations were 0.86 and 0.88, and for protein yield, these were 0.78 and 0.71, respectively. Our findings indicate that moderate GxE was present for yield traits. For percentage of fat and protein and SCS, genetic correlations between organic and conventional and preorganic production were close to unity, indicating that there was no GxE for these traits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2729-2737
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume89
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • organic farming
  • conversion
  • dairy farming
  • somatic cell count
  • milk production
  • genetic parameters
  • heritability
  • animal breeding
  • somatic-cell score
  • genetic-parameters
  • holstein cows
  • phenotypic relationships
  • protein yield
  • records
  • models
  • fat

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